Children and young people in Oxfordshire will get better access to mental health services after the county was chosen as an NHS ‘trailblazer site’ by the Government and awarded £5.4m in extra funding until 2021.
This new investment, under the Government’s Children and Young Peoples Green Paper initiative, will be used to pilot reducing waiting times for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services CAMHS to four weeks by 2021. In addition, this funding will also support Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Response and Oxfordshire County Council to bring new mental health practitioner teams into Oxfordshire’s primary and secondary schools.
The new practitioners will be trained via Reading University and funding will support two new pilot Mental Health Support Teams in the first phase.
Sarah Breton, head of Children’s Commissioning at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Oxfordshire County Council, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to fast track the work we have been doing with partners for the last year so that the CAMHS service will see more children and see them more quickly.”
Donan Kelly, service director at Oxford Health, said: “This is great news for children and young people who will now have better and quicker access to our mental health services in Oxfordshire and for teachers and parents who will now be able to get advice and help at an earlier stage. We know that early intervention leads to better healthcare outcomes. Together these measures are something we’ve all been working towards to address this important and growing area of healthcare need.”
John McLaughlin, chief executive of Response, part of the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership, said: “This is really good news for children, young people and their families. It builds on some of the excellent work already taking place in Oxfordshire and we are really excited to be involved.”